Make sure to read Part 1 of Trapped by a Grizzly Bear before continuing.
Adrenalin came rushing fast.
I sprinted up the extremely steep mountain. Back to the top! Daniel shouting to Caitee, “Hand me the phone! Hand me the phone! I want to take a picture.”
Dad had one arm holding Daniel back and giving clear directions to go the other way and his other hand holding the bear spray ready to shoot the bear. Daniel being the 11 year old boy he was, persevered and snapped a picture.
Mom, Caitee, and I turned to run up the mountain. Our lungs gasping for air. Our legs shaking. Muscles burning. Sweating from fear.
Fear of what could happen to Dad if the bear were to weakly swipe him. He would fall down the mountain. Fear of knowing that the bear walking slowly would still outrun us. Fear that even if we made it to the top, we would still be forced to go back down the other way and pass the bear.
Frantically, Mom shouts, “Call the rangers! Call the rangers!”
“What’s the number?!” I responded pulling my phone out so quickly.
With the news arriving slowly to Adam, he sees us sprint back his way somewhat confused.
Everything they teach you about what do when you encounter a bear, left faster than blink of an eye! We lost our words and became so quiet. Ran as fast as we could back up the mountain. We separated from each other. And we distanced ourselves from the bear.
Mom prayed deeply, “Jesus, please help us. Keep Scott safe.”
We hoped and prayed that can of bear spray had something inside of it and that it would be enough to turn the bear away.
Dad turned back toward us, “Laura, we will burn ourselves out if we keep running uphill. We need to pass the bear.”
With the bear approaching, I froze waiting to see what would happen next. My chest ached. My heart raced.
The deepest, loudest growl roared.
Chills ran down my spine.
Again, it came.
I looked to see my mom roaring! Caitee followed along with her lead.
“Make yourselves sound loud and look big. Be as intimidating as possible” mom commanded.
All of us, joined in. Breaking the deafening sound of silence, with our shouts. Arms flailing.
The bear jumped up on the side of the mountain, that had been too steep for us to climb.
“Go, go, go. Pass the bear” Dad ordered.
The memories of the sweet couple pointing to the mamma bear with her cubs rushed back to me. What if we ran between the mama and her cubs?!
Shouting, we went for it. One at a time, we passed the bear. She was closed enough to reach out and touch, only a few feet away.
As each of us passed by, untouched. The path found us again. We raced the path all the way back down the mountain, too scared to look back toward the bear.
We rushed through the meadow. No time to look at the lake and how far we had come. Into the tall trees and forest, we ran. Afraid to stop and catch our breath, we passed the chickens. And we continued to run back down the steep and exhausting path.
We were knowing and yet uncertain, that the bear would not follow all that way. We slowed our pace.
And yet, we still moved with a quicken pace over the wooden, one armed bridge. And back around the lake.
Still catching our breath and high on adrenaline, we stopped to see that near the path, there was a sweet, gentle, and calm Mama Moose with her calf.
So, like how we originally planned with the bear, we stopped to watch them for a minute and took a photo. Not giving it a second thought, we moved right past the moose and her calf.
Now close to the lodge and finishing our hike, we passed a group of older men and women in their 60s. One man turned to us, “Wow! How did you get past the moose? You all must have no fear!”
“Um well… the moose was the easy one.”